City Council set to complete move with reception relocation
This summer, Gloucester City Council’s reception will move from its former base at Gloucester Docks to new offices in the heart of the city.
The move will see the reception relocate to 92-96 Westgate Street (next to Janes Pantry) in a move designed to improve the quality of services to residents and make the Council more efficient.
It follows on from the successful introduction of an appointment system which reduced waiting times and allowed residents to be guaranteed to be seen on a specific date at a particular time rather than waiting in reception.
The new office on Westgate Street continues the programme of modernisation with the space designed to be more welcoming and allows residents to use a range of online services with computers specially installed.
Customer service officers will be on hand to assist people and will be able to offer appointments to customers who need them.
The office has been designed to help people with mental health issues or physical disabilities and there is an area set aside to keep young visitors occupied.
Relocating to Westgate Street in the City Centre should also make it easier and more convenient for residents to visit the reception. A date for the move will be announced later this month.
The changes come after the city council recently relocated to the County Council’s offices in Shire Hall on Westgate Street with the move intended to make savings, share resources, facilitate stronger joint working between the two authorities and make better use of the public sector’s assets.
The city council occupies a floor of Shire Hall along with a few other rooms for political groups and rents the spaces for £202,600 a year, initially for a period of three years. The cost includes a number of amenities such as repairs, maintenance, business rates, insurance, heat and lighting.
92-96 Westgate Street across the road from Shire Hall will house the customer service centre on the ground floor, while some council business partners will occupy the floors above.
The city council is also investing in IT and telephony systems to improve how it delivers services. This investment is linked to the move, but would have been necessary regardless of the move.
The council’s previous base at the Herbert, Kimberley and Phillpotts Warehouse in Gloucester Docks is currently being marketed by Bruton Knowles and could be put to a number of different uses, including potentially a high quality hotel, subject to the necessary consents.
The city council’s move is predicted to save at least £100,000 each year.
Councillor Hannah Norman, Cabinet Member for Performance and Resources, said: “We are committed to improving the way we deliver our services and making it easier for our residents to access them. The reception move is a key part of that. We also want to make it easier for residents to access a wide range of services online including making payments and booking services at a time and in a way which suits them as they would for any other modern organisation or business.”